McAnuff: Potters are blueprint

McAnuff: Potters are blueprint

Published Aug. 15, 2012 3:17 p.m. ET

The Royals start the new season at home to Tony Pulis' side on Saturday as they return to the Premier League for the first time since they were relegated in 2008.

Stoke were promoted to the top flight in the same year and have stayed there ever since.

McAnuff, 30, believes Pulis and the Stoke board have approached the task of developing the club in the right way and reckons Reading could do worse than follow their lead.

"The way they have done it has been a gradual approach," he said.


"I think if you look at them now to when they came up it is chalk and cheese, but I think if you break that down in the seasons gone past it has been a gradual process and they have added bit by bit.

"You now look at the players they are attracting and they are an established Premier League team now. Going up into the Premier League that is a model we can look at, hopefully achieve what they have done and go beyond that. I'm sure that is the aim with everyone at the club."

Reading secured the npower Championship title with a blistering run of form at the end of last season and McAnuff is hoping that could lift the players going into the new campaign.

He said: "We've got to use that end to the season we had and that form and momentum it created to hopefully give us a platform going into the new season.

"We can't rely on it and think it is going to equate to any points. It is going to be a tough year but an enjoyable one.

"It has been a long pre-season and we have had some good work put in and in the last few weeks you're really champing at the bit to get into it. This week in particular the boys are flying around in training, trying to make their mark and get into the team for Saturday."

Boss Brian McDermott has added six signings to the squad that secured promotion with Pavel Pogrebnyak, Adrian Mariappa and Chris Gunter moving to the Madejski Stadium and former Royal Nicky Shorey making a return.

McAnuff has been at the club since 2009 and believes the battle for places in McDermott's side can only benefit the team.

"We've got competition all over the squad now in every position, no one can put their hand up and say they are a dead cert to get into the team and I think that is healthy. I think it is what you need to be successful," he said.

"One thing we have always had here is people who come in and do a great job and it is hard for the lads to get back into the team. I think that is the way it has to be, with the signings the gaffer has made it will carry on that way."

After Saturday's home game the Royals face tricky away matches at Chelsea and Sunderland before returning to the Madejski to host Peterborough in the Capital One Cup.

McAnuff cannot wait for Saturday's Premier League curtain-raiser but also knows how important other competitions and fixtures can be in moulding a successful season.

He said: "At the end of the day you take every game as it is and that is to go out and win a game of football, whether that is in the Premier League, Capital One Cup or friendlies in pre-season we want to go and win every game we play.

"But of course being in the Premier League is that extra bit of significance, it is where you want to be as a player and you want to go out there and prove you're good enough and better than the teams and players you are playing against at that has to be our aim this year."

Sir John Madejski, the club's chairman, yesterday hailed the new owner Anton Zingarevich and believes his investment into Reading is "essential".

Zingarevich returned the compliment today and believes he and Madejski can work well together to take the club forward.

"He has done great things for the club," Zingarevich told the club's official website.

"He is the reason for much of the club's success and I have a lot of respect for him. He understands what I'm trying to do, I enjoy working with him and we have a good relationship. Because I'm not going to be there all of the time, it's important to still have someone there who is so dedicated."